BERKELEY, Calif., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling all schools: got a bad case of spring fever? Channel your energy to win an Annie's Root 4 Kids contest designed to teach students nationwide how to grow, taste and add veggies to their plates. The school that generates the most Root 4 Kids sign-ups between April 5 and May 31 will receive its choice of a new Farm to School program or a school garden.
Root 4 Kids is a cause-related campaign conducted in partnership with the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), a nationally recognized organization that connects more than 10,000 schools across America with local farms to provide healthy food in cafeterias, nutrition education in classrooms and hands-on learning through school gardens.
The goal of Root 4 Kids is to get one million kids digging and planting new veggies through harvest 2011. To encourage participation and create friendly competition this spring, Annie's is encouraging parents, family members, teachers and administrators to sign up at www.root4kids.com/join and commit to helping kids "dig" or plant new vegetables.
"As a company deeply committed to nurturing healthy kids and families, Annie's created Root 4 Kids to inspire kids and adults to grow and eat real food together, both at home and at school," said Aimee Sands, Marketing Director for Annie's. "With this contest, we're excited to help one school make this critical connection with a tangible program that encourages healthy eating habits."
The Farm to School program prize includes working with a state NFSN leader to customize a combination of activities that best help students become more deeply connected to real food. Options may include: introductory lessons on where food comes from; farm field trips; meals following a farm visit using vegetables harvested by students; garden sessions in the spring or fall; a "tasting table" featuring a sampling of freshly harvested vegetables; and more.
The school garden prize includes basic supplies, including seeds, soil and select tools, and assistance from a gardening expert to get the garden started.
The "Root 4 Kids" Movement
"Families everywhere face daunting food-related issues, ranging from increasing rates of obesity to diabetes to hunger to low-quality school lunches and snacks," Sands said. "Root 4 Kids provides parents and teachers an online resource to help kids dig in the dirt, grow veggies and rediscover the delicious taste and health benefits of real food."
By declaring "I Root 4 Kids" on www.root4kids.com, individuals commit to completing at least one activity, such as learning about, eating and planting new veggies, or working to get more fresh foods into schools.
The Root 4 Kids site includes resources and tools for teachers and parents looking to teach kids about the benefits of growing and eating healthy foods; organic gardening tips and information on where to find seeds and garden resources; fun veggie recipes and information about farmers markets; and educational games, coloring pages and veggie quizzes for kids. Root 4 Kids members can create profiles, including photos, quiz results and videos, as well as create "share your story" pages where parents, teachers and kids can learn from and share their experiences with others throughout the nation.
Root 4 Kids also gives teachers and families an opportunity to weigh in on key food-related issues. For example, until April 11, Root 4 Kids is conducting a "thank you" letter-writing campaign to the USDA for adding more veggies to school lunches. Visit http://root4kids.com/share-letters/ to add a letter, story or photo of support. For every thank you letter received, Annie's will contribute $1 toward Farm to School.
Annie's is dedicated to nourishing families with delicious natural and organic foods made with the highest quality ingredients. The line includes cheese, pasta meals, crackers, cookies, pretzels, cereals and fruit snacks, salad dressings, BBQ sauce and condiments. Since its founding in 1989, Annie's has been committed to social and corporate responsibility. The company believes in the importance of sustainable farming practices that respect the earth and its inhabitants. Annie's products are available nationwide at major grocery stores, natural food stores and club stores. For more information, visit www.Annies.com. Follow Annie's on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/annieshomegrown) and Twitter (@annieshomegrown).